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September 2015

Ready for Your Third Age?

Sep 30, 2015 2:19 PM
Bruce Hunter

There are three major stages in life.

Home to school.

School to work.

Work to home.

I’m a Baby Boomer.  And unfortunately or fortunately there will be a lot of us facing that third age very soon.  Some are there now with many to follow.  It seems to me that virtually every conversation I have with friends and business acquaintances these days eventually gets around to the “what’s next for you?” discussion. More often times than not, there’s no answer. And it’s no wonder if you look at the number of possible downside realities.  The loss of work.  The impending loss of health and vitality.  Possible loss of public exposure.  Loss of influence, power, admiration and attention.  If you view the glass as half empty, there’s a lot here to avoid.  Why deal with a painful future? The answer of course is that you’re going to be a hell of a lot worse off as life progresses if you don’t.

It concerns me that so many of us appear to be walking like lemmings to that Third Age cliff with little or no preparation.  For the business owner, it is doubly concerning because of the likely impact on the business itself or its returns on transfer.

A recent study identified a number of ways this group is dealing with the question.  As you read through each, reflect on where you believe you might fit.

Continuers:  These people use their existing skills and interests as a base to fit into their next thing.

Adventurers:  See the next chapter as being the next achievement.  They are excited by the opportunity to set a bold new direction.

Searchers:  Explore several different fields and use trial and error to find their way.

Easy Gliders:  Just let it happen.  The future will unfold and they will react to what takes place at the time.

Involved Spectators:  Consider the future and others’ plans to address it but do no personal planning.

Retreaters:  Active avoidance.  Activity is focused in hanging on rather than moving forward.

Consider these for your next steps:

1.  Start talking.  To your family.  To others going through it.  To begin the process of establishing new networks and possible interest. 

2.  Reinvent before you exit.  Confirm/establish interest or passion.  Set some goals.  Identify your first projects.

One final thought.  Find that something that gets you up in the morning.  Empty days are very long!

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